MP asks locals to file complaint against Graphite India

MP asks locals to file complaint against Graphite India

Bangalore Central MP P C Mohan with the Whitefield Rising team in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

BJP Member of Parliament PC Mohan asked people residing nearby Graphite India Limited (GIL) to file criminal complaint against the company they have been fighting for the last 20 years.

Local people have been complaining that the excessive soot emanated by the factory affects their health and creates air pollution.

As per the air quality data captured by AirCare- a community-developed air quality monitoring network, PM2.5 (fine particles with a size of 2.5 microns and less measured in micrograms in a cubic meter) is more at Graphite junction.

Following complaints by local residents, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) in 1998 called for a joint meeting with GIL and directed the factory to install pollution control measures as per Central Pollution Control Board guidelines and replace all machinery. As GIL didn’t follow it, the KSPCB issued a notice and closure order in 2012.

But GIL obtained a stay order on the closure notice in 2012. The residents intervened and challenged the stay order and requested the Appellate court to uphold the closure. In 2014, after many hearings, the Appellate court upheld the stay order and allowed GIL to continue operations.

The residents challenged the order in National Green Tribunal (NGT). As per the case, the KSPCB inspected the GIL premises in 2017 and the report it submitted indicated that the company did not complete orders by the appellate court. The NGT is yet to make a ruling as the judges on the tribunal benches have retired.

GIL’s license ended in June 2018 and KSPCB chairman Lakshman, who was part of Tuesday’s hearing, said the Board will not renew it.

MP PC Mohan urged the locals to file a criminal complaint since the company is functioning without license. GIL representatives argued that they are following the NGT orders and their company is not responsible for the pollution in Whitefield. Lakshman said he will personally inspect GIL on Wednesday with his Board members. “The KSPCB will ensure continuous air check from hereafter. We’ll go to the court and strength the case with all documents and technical data. We’ll await court order on the factory’s closure,” he added.  

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